so I had quite a few word docs open. (about 10)
and a lot of folders open and google chrome, task manager ect.
and when I opened one more word doc the screen went black for about 5 seconds. it went back to normal then closed everything and shut it down. was this because my cpu couldn't handle it? will it happen again if I have that many things open? hardware or software problem?

You probably ran out of RAM and don't have adequate swap space configured. Check memory usage, and increase swap space. The system will run slower as the swap file is in use, but it should run. If it continues to happen in much the same way, then you may have a bad RAM chip.

commented: yes, maybe. but im pretty sure that i wasnt short of ram. i have 8gb of ddr3 runing at 1333mhz +1